Thursday, October 13, 2011

Update 10-13-2011

Oh my gosh! I've neglected my blog yet again. Surprised? Me neither. But I've been insanely preoccupied with going to school, working, mantaining the remnants of my social life, and starting my Etsy shop.

Speaking of which, I'm addicted to buying and selling vintage now more than ever. I decided that I did, indeed, want to run my own shop badly enough to dedicate the time, money, and energy it requires. The whole experience has completely revolutionized my outlook on life and my view of myself.

I'm not 100% confident in myself yet, but I've seen a huge improvement. While setting up my shop and selling for a month or two, I had to learn to trust my gut, pat myself on the back when I'm right, and learn from my mistakes when I'm wrong. And I've made a lot of mistakes (most of them dealing with shipping...ugh!), but for some reason messing up makes me want to try even harder at succeeding the next time.
I've got way too many thoughts about everything that's going on right now (selling online, trying to start a business, changing my major, anticipating my mom's remarriageat the end of this month..the list goes on), but there's only so many hours in a day. Still, I feel like writing about starting a business will hold me accountable to actually doing it. And even if I decide now is not the time (though I'd hate to get to that point), I think it's important I document all of this now so I can go back one day and remember this time in my life.

I'm known to over-analyze things...can't you tell??

I'll stop here for now. Soon, I plan to start a new blog that isn't as scattered as this one about thrifting, vintage, selling online, crafting, life, whatever.. But for now, Ima go get me some food and go to sleep!

So tell me...How are things going for you guys? What's new in your life?



Monday, August 1, 2011

Brain on Overdrive

July is officially over, and the start of school is taunting me from a close distance, but I'm busting tail until then. I'd like to be relaxing the whole time, and that's what I had planned to do, but my mind and my body have a dysfunctional relationship and won't let me sit still.

My brain not only switches to ON mode when I wake up, but also to Crazy, Overanalyzing, Get-Stuff-Done, Sleep-is-for-Chumps mode. It's great that I'm getting stuff done, but I want to be lazy like every college kid should be during summer. Instead, I've been working several hours each morning for the past two weeks to sort, clean, and price stuff my family and I are getting rid of for a garage sale. I am DETEERMINED to have everything ready by this weekend. I'm sick of the piles of clutter that have built up around the house and garage. Silver lining: My mom said I can use all of the money made this weekend for text books. Oh, happy day! It'll make the sting of book costs a lot less nauseating.

I've also been scraping cheap, poorly-applied purple tint from my car windows. The lovely people who owned my car before me must have thought it was a good idea, but I'm not so thrilled with bubbling and cracking tint. I can only do a little at a time because it is so hot and humid outside, so it's taking me weeks to remove it. Just a little more to go..

My other project of these past few weeks has been a little more rewarding and enjoyable. Buying and selling mid century decor has been incredibly tough, but I made two sales this past week! Didn't make a huge profit since I messed up the shipping a little, but that's better than losing money, right? Anyway, I'm getting better at calculating shipping, so hopefully my prices will be more accurate and I won't have to keep dipping into the profits.

It's amazing that I've been able to write this much considering how fidgety I am right now, so I'm not gonna press my luck. I'll stop here for now. I'm going to try to write soon about my favorite store for buying vintage items. It's bizarre, disheveled, and unconventional, but then so am I.

Oh, before I forget, I am able to see comments on my site (and appreciate them very much!), but I can't comment on other blogspot blogs for some reason. That's usually how I reply to people, but now I can't. I guess I'll be switching to replying in the comments on here from now on, but I am still going to look at everyone's blogs and TRY to comment if I can. If not, just know I'm still reading your posts and commenting on my head..? Okay, bye for real this time!

Later, gators.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Itch for Kitsch

Hey guys!

I've neglected this blog terribly, but I'm going to try to revive it. I've been on a thrift store binge for the past two weeks, and consequently, I have accumulated a bunch of clutter. Of course, some of the clutter has proved profitable, and for that I'm thrilled (and relieved). I bought a leather polaroid camera case for 59 cents and it sold last week for $14.99. You can bet I squealed with joy.

I have more stuff listed on my Etsy shop, Itch for Kitsch, but I am eager to find more vintage and retro things to sell. I want to learn a lot about buying and reselling and maybe, just maybe, one day run my own brick & mortar antique store one day.

I told myself last night that I was going to stay away from the thrift store until next week, but I should have known I was going to wake up the next morning and go. Hum. But I'm telling myself it's okay because I found some fun, kitschy stuff and I had a conversation with a sweet lady who also thrifts for fun and encouraged me to thrift more. She has unknowingly become what clinicians refer to as "an enabler."

I have several vintage vinyl records to list in my shop, as well as some other small items, so hopefully that will tie me over for a bit. I'm getting antsy because I've only had one sale on Etsy (2 on another venue), but things are supposed to pick up as it gets closer to Christmas.

I will try to post some of my recent finds (w/ pictures) within the next couple of days. Stay tuned :)

How is everyone's summer going?

"Ghost of My Braver Self"

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Peace, love, and Cornbread

Hello? Anyone still out there?

Man! It's been a while since I've logged in. My computer kept crashing, and I found out there were several viruses on it. The guy who fixed it said that there are some viruses disguised as Adobe, Flash, and Javascript update prompts. Greeeeat. I always update those things. Guess I'll have to be more careful next time.

Remember all of my second-hand finds I nerded out over a couple of weeks ago? I found moreeee. Turns out I have a slight obsession with the thrift store, and it seems relieve stress for me. I don't want to end up on Hoarders: Buried Alive and have to be treated for compulsive shopping, but I don't think that's going to happen. I've actually set up my own little online shop where I can sell my thrift store finds for some extra cash. College girl needs textbooks/gas monies.

It's always been a secret wish of mine to buy and sell vintage/unique items. I had told myself for so long that I couldn't make it a reality because I don't know enough about what sells and what doesn't. I'm really hard on myself. Like, brutal. I mentally flog my self-esteem on occasion. Why? Probably the combination of being female and a chronic worrier...and living at home through college... But now, after a few sales and some awesome finds, I'm beginning to gain a little confidence in myself.

And this is the part of the post where I am going to shamelessly promote my listings.
My booth on Bonanza:
Yardsellr page:

I have pretty much the same items on both pages, but Yardsellr is a little easier to use, so I have that set up as an alternative. If you wanna be super fantastic and help me promote, let me know and I'll find/make a badge. Or, a simple tweet or mention in a blog post would totally work :)

You know how I used to sign off my posts with "Peace, love, and hugs,"? My boyfriend kept teasing me about it by saying it before one of us left, but he would mix it up and say, "Peace, love, and flying pigs.. or whatever!" Then he got me a shirt that says, "Peace, love, and cornbread" in bright colors (we are in the deep south, remember). I thought it was pretty cute, but I dunno, maybe you had to be there.

Tomorrow, I'm going to ride horses and to an antique shop in an itty bitty town about an hour away. What have you guys been up to this summer?

Peace, love, and cornbread,


Monday, June 20, 2011

Update 6-20-2011

Hey there. I have been out of town for the past week, so I hadn't spent much time online. I often find myself wanting to blog about something or another, but I quickly dismiss the idea because I don't necessarily want people I regularly interact with to read it. It's quite discouraging. Because of this, I am considering starting a blog on which my identity is hidden so that I can write freely about anything and everything. If you would like to follow it (and, of course, I do not know you outside of the blogsphere), let me know and I'll message you if and when I create it.

Until then, I'll find things to post on here that aren't too lame. Bear with me :)


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Update 6-4-2011

Just so you guys know, I have been reading some of your blogs, and I have stuff to comment about floating in my head, but Blogger decided to put the kibosh on my eagerness to interact with fellow Blognerds and will not let me post a comment to anyone's posts. After I click the post button, I am redirected to the login page, which, upon logging in, takes me back to the CAPTCHA nonsense. After several rounds of post-login-post-login, I decided to wait until Blogger doesn't suck.

Until then, I will be working on craft projects, going second-hand shopping, couponing, fishing, and looking for other random-but-fun pursuits.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Second-Hand Dreams

Where HAS the time gone? It's escaping way too quickly. Tomorrow is the first day of the summer semester for me, so I'm a bit anxious, I'll admit. Going back to school still kind of puts my nerves in a tailspin, even all of these years after kindergarden. And it doesn't help that the one class I'm taking this summer is astronomy. WHEN AM I GONNA HAVE TO KNOW ABOUT OUTERSPACE?? (probably on one of the many days that the world is supposed to end, 2012 at the latest, as a kamikaze meteroid destroys the planet).

I went to Barnes & Noble recently to find a good book (something I rarely have time to do anymore, but I was persuaded by a gift card I received), and I randomly found a book called Stiff, the Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, by Mary Roach. I'm sure the book's subject and my interest in it reflects poorly on my character, but I'm willing to take that risk. I've always had an interest in pathology and forensics, so this book had me hooked. Roach discusses her visits to cadaver disections, body farms, crash test labs, and the likes where she discovers what happens as bodies decompose and also what happens as a body undergoes traumatic experiences like fires and crashes. Morbid, yeah? It's written in a very honest, comedic, yet respectful way, and I think that's what I like most about it. Anyway, check it out, or don't. I won't judge you either way, girl scouts' honor.

I've done a lot of thinking lately, and I've realized that I put myself down quite frequently for just about everything. I have often avoided my passions because I didn't consider myself "good enough" at them. I'm not a big fan of the phrase "Follow your dreams" because it's painfully cliché, but it's a concept of been toying with for the past couple of days. Specifically, I've realized the extent of my love for things vintage, antique, and ecclectic. Just today I spent an hour and a half at the thrift store (before 9am. Early bird gets the ceramic worm from 1967, right?). That wouldn't be so crazy had I not gone to the thrift store the day before as well. But I was eager to find some projects to work on, so I went back to look at everything with fresh eyes and a new perspective. I found some incredibly unusual items, and I can't wait to jazz them up.
Here's some of my favorite items I've found on past second-hand adventures:

Hopefully I will have some pictures up of the before and after photos of today's purchases. We shall see.

"I'm sick of following my dreams. I'm just going to ask them where they're going and hook up with them later."
-Mitch Hedberg

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Motivational Speaker Services

Since I do not work until the fall semester and thus have free-time, I'm currently offering my services as a motivational speaker. I also tell knock-knock jokes and point out your friends' flaws to make you feel better about yourself.

For more details, contact me.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

One-Hundred Followers and a Comic

Slowly, but surely, this blog has reached 100 bloggers as of 6:30 this morning. Wooo! Even better than the number, I took a look at the stats of visitors, and I noticed that there is some major diversity among everyone. I love it. This means we can talk about interesting topics and get some different, but enlightening input.

This week, I've learned so much about myself (not all positive realizations, but they needed to surface), and I'm going to take the information and use it to better myself. Without going into major detail, I've basically come to grips with the fact that I am insecure about myself and that I owe it to myself to silence the negative thoughts that enter my mind. Don't get me wrong -- I generally like who I am and don't go around blatantly putting myself down, but I have a tendency to belittle myself and feel inferior to others. I know, I know, everyone feels that way sometimes, but it shouldn't keep a person from meeting new people or avoiding certain social situations. I don't exactly have a social anxiety disorder since I do go out a good bit and don't completely avoid people, but I have those tendencies. Which is probably why I blog, lol.

I've also realized this week that I have a lot of uncommon interests/hobbies. Normally, I try to downplay my nerdiness, but I think it's time to embrace my idiosyncrasies.
For starters, I know more about psychology than any non-major should. I love learning about why people think, speak, and act they way they do (which is also why I love anthropology).
I like to analyze poetry.
I have been crocheting and knitting since I was seven, and I have just taken up couponing to save my hard earned cash for my own place. Old lady alert! I am one FOXY GRANDMA. I think that would make a nice bumper sticker. When I qualify for seniors' discount, I want a foxy granny bumper sticker for my car. Or maybe I'll put one up now.
Oh, today, I went to the thrift store today (another weird thing about me, I love the thrift store!) and got some awesome things to decorate my room. I'm going with a shabby-chic, woodland, earthy, organic theme. I have a small obsession with mushrooms (the cute ones for decor. Not the other type. I always get weird looks when I say I love mushrooms) and owls (again, cute ones. Not the creepy, "Ima gonna snatch you up with muh talons" owls). I shall post pictures later of my finds.
And now, I leave you with a cartoon I drew a week or two ago when I was super bored.

The Panhandling Panda-Handler:

Oh, just a reminder, if you don't want to have to keep checking your Blogger dashboard for new posts (I hate looking through the long list constantly), you can subscribe to my feed via email (see far right side module). I've never actually subscribed to anyone's blogs through email, so I don't know how clear the format is. If you do use it, lemme know if there is anything you would like for me to change and I will see if there is a way to customize it. Thanks!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Hodge Podge: Fish, Tornado, Coupons


I have an exciting announcement. The boyfriend showed me how to fish, and after a couple of minutes I caught my first fish! I'm sorry, that's not terribly exciting, but I was ecstatic because the boyfriend and his dad fish all the time and win competitions and stuff. Now I can say that I fish too. I'm practically a pro. I still won't touch the fish after I catch them, though. Slimy things with beady little eyes make me skittish.
I also caught a branch, but it wasn't as impressive.

Stream of consciousness, GOOO: A tornado rudely slashed through my town last week. Crazy stuff. The last storm (which was about two weeks ago) brought about a tornado that did not touch down, but it did rip through my neighborhood and dump a tree on my house (minor damage, no one was hurt). The more recent storm sent a massive tornado about ten miles from my house, and it leveled a huge part of this town (we could see it from my house. My mom went upstairs to watch it from my brother's window. Best place during a tornado? Not upstairs or by a window). We are in a major college town in Alabama and we received an insane amount of damage, so the media has gone crazy over covering the story. It's kind of annoying, actually. My Facebook exploded with a bunch of statuses about how everyone was volunteering and donating. Just a tip, self-promoting the fact that you volunteered or donated is super irritating. To me, at least. I could just stay off Facebook since it gets on my nerves so badly, right? WRONG. Facebook has wrapped my little attention span around it's finger and won't let go unless I promise it my first born child. I would, but I've already promised it to the oil industry.
Wow. Somebody's got a bunch of built up ill-feelings. I didn't mean for that rant to be so long, and in fact, I have more to say on that subject, but I'll close the lid on the matter.

Have you seen Extreme Couponing? It's my guilty pleasure show, and I'm falling victim to couponing. It requires the perfect amount of detailed obsession and a fine-toothed comb of iron. Most people would cringe at the thought of clipping, sorting, making lists, checking them twice, stockpiling, etc, but I'm just the uptight white girl for the job.

I'm definitely working on not being so uptight. Since I finished school (first year of college down for the count, babyyyy), I have embraced this notion of "nothing to do" and have tried my hand at fun things. It's been quite a long time since I've done nothing but unproductive, yet fun, things.

So, I've taken a look at the blogs of those of you who have so kindly commented, and I'm loving all of these thoughts and poems that are being produced. I've also noticed that many people are new bloggers and, generally, about to start or have recently started college. If you guys have any questions about blogging and/or/but not limited to college, definitely throw them my way. I can't give a supreme answer over all other answers and reveal hidden insights about life, but I can surely give my opinion and share with you how I deal/dealt with things. And, if it's pretty applicable to most people, I just might incorporate it in a blogpost.

Now go and hug yo mamma and tell her happy mamma's day. Or, go hug someon else's mamma and tell them that they are the best someone else's mamma ever.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I'm Decluttering and Slowing Down

After reading some enlightening posts from Zen Habits and Institute of Not Doing Much, I've resolved to slowing down, take time to get lost in activities I enjoy, and rid my room of unnecessary "stuff". Everyday, from the moment I wake up until the moment I collapse on my bed, I try to cram as many productive things into the day as possible. I've always valued efficiency and productivity, which are two inherently positive traits to have, but at the end of the day I'm not satisfied. I always undermine the day's accomplishments and convince myself that I could have done more or spent my time more wisely. Simply put, that's moronic and masochistic thinking. You'd think that I could stop doing something I know is stupid and harmful.
Now that school has ended (prematurely because of the horrific tornadoes that swept through my community) and I don't have to work again until next semester, I will have insane amounts of free time. And for me, it would probably be easier if I just poured salt in my eyes or shoveled a spoonfull of cinnamon in my mouth than have to deal with all of that down time. But I'm determined to do several things within the next few weeks that will, hopefully, reduce the amount of stress I create for myself and let me enjoy the simple things in life once again. The list:
1. Read a book, and don't just skim through it. Really absorb it.
2. Wait until everyone is out of the house, then turn my music up loud and belt out my favorite songs. I LOVE singing (just not so much when other people are around).
3. Practice doing nothing. Yes, I have to practice this. It's insanely difficult for me to "waste time"
4. Declutter my room. Out with old, ill-fitting clothes. Rearrange/get rid of the furniture so that it's simplistic and functional. Etc.
5. Declutter my Facebook. This one is big. I can't muster up the courage to delete it altogether because it does come in handy sometimes, but I shouldn't have to look at my friend's list and ask, "How the heck do I know this punk?" Also, those kids from my old schools that didn't even talk to me when we had classes together? De-friended. Shwang.

That's a good starter list, I think. What would you put on your list? Or are you already laid-back and need to make a to-do list to get things done?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I've been a terrible blogger. No new posts for almost a month. I just feel silly when I write new posts because I end up ranting, which progresses into rambling, and then I begin to sound like every other Jack and Jill on the web (you know, the ones that like to hear the sound of their own typing?) I'm probably even doing it now. But I'm not sure. Hum.

Perhaps I have wasted 10 seconds of your life that you'll never get back, but I'll reward you with a picture that I saw online today that made me laugh out loud in the student center.

IRL Troll - We Be Jammin
see more The Art of Trolling

If I just wasted another 3 seconds, I apologize :/

Friday, March 25, 2011

Where the Wilde Things Are

"The only artists I have ever known who are personally delightful are bad artists. Good artists exist simply in what they make, and consequently are perfectly uninteresting in what they are. A great poet, a really great poet, is the most unpoetical of all creatures. But inferior poets are absolutely fascinating. The worse their rhymes are, the more picturesque they look. The mere fact of having published a book of second-rate sonnets makes a man quite irresistible. He lives the poetry that he cannot write. The others write the poetry that they dare not realize."
     The quote above, taken from a wonderful book I am reading (by the thought-provoking Mr. Oscar Wilde), suggests that people who are successful writers lead notably uninteresting lives because they have reserved excitement for their works. People who are “bad” writers, on the other hand, are “fascinating” because they live out their passions instead of applying them to their writing.

     I find this idea peculiar yet worth thinking about. Both ideas presented speak volumes for me on a personal level as I cannot quite decide which category I would fit into (or if I'd really like to identify with either). My life is, by no means, adventurous or “exciting” but it works for me. When things get dull, I do something to entertain myself. Admittedly, I'm a bit of an introvert, so I spend a good bit of time entertaining myself and only myself. However, when I write (and publicly share my writings), my aim is to entertain others.
If the ideas from the quote are true, a person certainly could not be both a good writer and an interesting person, right? If I had to choose, I'd probably go with being a bad writer.
Okay, let's play Would You Rather.
Would you rather be a world-renowned writer whose writing lasts for generation upon generation but lives a mediocre life or a mediocre writer whose writing is only read by his or her mother, if that, but lives an exciting and adventurous life? (post your answer! I'll take the answers I like the best and post them next time).
Peace, love, and flying pigs,

Monday, March 7, 2011

Crap My Mom Says #3

Crap My Mom Says #3:

Me: "Can't wait to try racquetball today."
Mom: "Heh.. you're gonna suck at it."

In her defense, I think she meant that because it was my first time playing racquetball, I was probably going to have a hard time getting the hang of it. But it came out in a moms-don't-usually-say-stuff-like-that kind of way.

In my defense, I didn't really suck at it. I thought I did pretty well considering I have next to no hand-eye coordination or sports ability whatsoever. I really like it, actually. This is an exciting fact because I need to be more active. I still get winded after walking up three flights of stairs to my English class. Very shameful, indeed.

That's all for now. Peace, love, and flying pigs :]

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Social Net-dork

Okay, where are all of you people coming from?!
I will update my blog, get a comment or two, and then a few days later I’ll see that I have had an increase in “followers.” So odd... But don’t get me wrong! I love thinking that people are actually reading my rants. It boosts my social networking ego. With all of the ego-points I lose on Facebook, the points I gain on here balance everything out.

And this is the point in the blog post where I realize that everything up to this point sounded absolutely ridiculous. Social networking, in essence, is ridiculous, and maybe, just maybe, I need to get a life.

Actually, I do have a life. And a pretty great one at that. Granted, things haven’t been exactly peachy lately since I’ve had to switch anxiety meds (which, if you know anything about being on them, you know that switching medicines makes your body and mind feel like it is in a constant state of being hit by a Mack truck. More or less.) Also, I’ve had personal things to sort through lately concerning family and school, but that’s to be expected. Since I’ve switched meds (because the first clearly wasn’t working), my skin picking has gotten a little worse, or maybe I’ve just become less willing to combat it, but hopefully the new medicine will kick in and curb some of the urges to pick. I really want my legs to heal soon so that I can wear shorts and cute dresses again and not feel self-conscious. It’s very discouraging to have to wear jeans on a gorgeous day because you had a terrible picking episode the night before and don’t want anyone to ask about it.

Anyway, on to some happy things. I’ve been volunteering for a couple of hours each week in an ESL class. I LOVE IT. I’ve met some of the coolest people from Brazil, Mexico, Germany, Cuba, etc. This past week I got to help a woman from Brazil practice her conversational skills during class since she will only be here for a few more days and wants to practice with English speakers. Since she will only be in Tuscaloosa for a little while, we have planned to meet up out of class to practice English more. I’m ecstatic. I don’t know what it is about teaching people, whether it’s Spanish or English, but it gives me a sense of purpose. And the people I’ve met so far are so willing to learn and ardently practicing that it motivates me to learn about their home countries and cultures. Awesome stuff.
Now, I shall leave you with some entertainment that I hope brightens your day a bit as they have brightened mine.

-         This chipmunk is freakin’ adorable. Why? Because he’s in slow-motion. As if it wasn’t cute enough to watch them clean themselves in real-time…
-   Check out Terral's designs are on FI-YAH.
    Some of his designs:

Okay, enjoy, go crazy, have fun. Leave me lovely comments of delicious magnificence.



Monday, February 14, 2011

God Can Be Funny

Happy Valentine's Day. This is the first year I actually care about it because it's way cuter when you have someone to buy a present for. That isn't yourself.

Not that it's bad to buy yourself gifts, of course. I think it would be fun to add a personal gift message to items that you buy online like, "Hey, we haven't met, but I've been admiring you from afar and thought you might like a new pair of Tom's shoes. You totally deserve it!" or "I don't know you, but I've seen you around once or twice and thought I'd send this to you in hopes of brightening your day. Have a good one!" Thinking about the reactions of the people shipping it from the warehouse makes it way more fun.
Or not. So, my boyfriend likes to surprise me by leaving cute things in my car for me to find the next day. Today, it was candy and a lovely card. I love that. He's done something like this a couple of times, but oddly enough, it still catches me off-gaurd. But I like it.

I think God was sending me a Valentine's Day gift today, too. Last Friday I missed school (by my own choice; didn't feel like going), but later I felt a little stressed because I realized i had missed a quiz that my English teacher talked about the last class, and I knew I wouldn't be able to make it up. Being the uptight white chick that I am, I silently stressed about it all weekend and let it gnaw at me. "No big deal, no big deal, just a quiz...Oh my gosh.. I missed a quiz. It will probably bring my grade down..." and thus began the hamster wheel of counter productive thinking.

I got to class this morning, and I asked a friend about what all I missed on Friday. She said that the teacher had to cancel last minute, so everyone got to leave shortly after class was supposed to begin. Sooo, no quiz.

I could hear God laughing quietly at me as I thought about this later while walking to my next class. Well, I didn't actually hear God laughing, but I got the impression that he was telling me, "I told you so, silly kid." Kind of like a, "See? You really didn't have to freak out all weekend. I had it all taken care of." He does this a lot, but oddly enough, it still catches me off-gaurd. But I like it.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

ESL, DIY, and Shoutouts

On Monday I went to my first ESL class to volunteer. I'm in love.
Learning about other people from other countries is so amazing and interesting and fantastic and I shouldn't be this excited about having a simple conversation with someone, but I am. I talked mostly with two women, Ednéia and Aída, and I was thrilled that we could all communicate and learn so much about each other. Ednéia, a energetic and youthful 49 year old woman from Brazil, speaks fluent Portuguese, but she also knew a little Spanish and is, of course, learning English. Aída, a quiet but friendly 30 year old woman, is from Mexico, so I could understand nearly all of what she was saying. Either way, we all were able to piece together our knowledge of the languages to communicate.
In case you didn't know (or if I haven't already talked about it on my blog..I really don't remember...), I am re-vamping my room. It used to be a playroom/den, so it is very spacious, but the walls were white and the carpet was old from years of wear and tear. We painted the walls a pale yellow and got new, plush, brown carpet. Definitely makes the room a little cosier.
I bought a desk at a local antique shop ( I adore antique/thrift store shopping. I get a high off bargains and vintage items). The desk is in great shape and is of aged wood, but I won't have to refinish it because it is in such great condition. I really like the old, rustic look. How much did I pay? $25 bucks! How's 'bout them apples.

My great friend, Lori, is witness to this bargain. We go antiquing together in search of cool items to repurpose. You should really take a look at her blog she just started that displays her DIY projects, and also take a look at her "One a Day" project of awesome sketches (see graphic to the right).

Also, check out my new side widget that displays some of my favorite sites/blogs. There are some pretty cool ones worth looking into. If you know of a site that deserves to be on one of the lists, let me know and I'll take a look.
I'd like to give a shout out to this site as well:
Although the picture says it's for sharing stories about college, it's really for all stages of life (the college stage is just the only one that applies to me right now!). There's high school, marriage, being on your own, and many others. Ch-ch-check it outtt.

That's all I got for now. Thanks for reading :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Contemplations of a Sleep-Deprived Mind. And a Poll.

Hello people,

Firstly, thank you so much your comments and messages. They mean a lot to me. I thrive off the thought that I'm connecting with people. Maybe social networking is turning me into an attention-seeking teen blogger who thinks what she had for lunch is going to rock someone's world, but I don't think I'll ever get to that point. Honest to blog.
I kind of have this outlook that might sound a little like I'm being a downer or not reaching for the stars, but I'm actually a very optimistic person. But I'm also realistic. So, think about a person about whom most everyone in the world has heard of since his or her time on this earth. Shakespeare's a good guess. But think about it. What did he do? He wrote some plays (granted, most were some incredible works with insurmountable literary merit), but what he did was one in a gazillion-bajillion(hover).. That's a lot, homes.
What does this have to do with my outlook? I would like to say that I do not wish to establish myself as world-renowned or a household name. But I would like to make people think about things and to live deliberately, not passively, and in the processes, teach myself to do the same. Afterall, if I had already mastered these things, what fun would it be to read a bunch of sermons of a self-proclaimed life guru?

And now, I step down from my soap box (hover) and ask that you take a look at (and participate in) this poll I made. I'm just curious about the results.

What kind of content do you want to read about on this site?

My head is about to crash onto a pillow and I'm going to have bizarre dreams that I won't remember in the morning. Hurray.



Sunday, January 30, 2011

Something to Chew On

You don't owe it to anyone to come from a perfect family or a positive childhood, but you owe it to them to get the help you need to ensure a break in the cycle.

It could be spiritual help, professional help, medicinal help, whatever. But you owe it to your kids, your friends, your spouse, to people you've never met before, to people you will meet in the future, to give your life purpose and help others find theirs.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Rarest Thing and Ripening...Cheese

I'm going to go ahead and warn you upfront, I have no idea what this post is going to be about. But I told myself I'd keep a blog going, so keep a blog going I shall. Even William Wordsworth wrote without a clear purpose in mind firsthand:

 "From such verses the Poems in these volumes will be found distinguished at least by one mark of difference, that each of them has a worthy purpose. Not that I always began to write with a distinct purpose formerly conceived; but habits of meditation have, I trust, so prompted and regulated my feelings, that my descriptions of such objects as strongly excite those feelings, will be found to carry along with them a purpose."

Although he didn't always know what message his poem was going to convey as he sat down to write, through meditation and revision he molded his poetry to have a clear message and purpose.
That just might be what I have to do.

So, since when did I become enthralled with Wordsworth's writing process? I'll let you know when that happens, but I do admire some of his ideas regarding writing and poetry (though his Preface to Lyrical Ballads is almost painful to read at times). I'm taking English 206 - English Literature - if that clears anything up.

I love my classes this year. My English class is taught by an incredibly laid back young guy who takes his tennis shoes off at the beginning of each class and wears dark-rimmed glasses. I find myself appreciating his dry humor and quiet enthusiasm for English literature. I'm also taking a geography class (which is not at all my favorite, but I've taken worse classes), an online cultural anthropology class (very interesting stuff!), and an intermediate Spanish class (also awesome).

If there's one thing that I've learned this week, it's that I take myself way too seriously and that I need to really start living. Oscar Wilde said, "To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all." Well done, Oscar, well done. Step number one to living life to the fullest: slow down and get some freakin' rest. I'm always on the go, my mind is always racing, and I'm never satisfied with just sitting around. But I think sometimes our bodies just need some R & R to regroup. We need to plug ourselves into the wall and recharge. Or at least, I know I do.

It's hard for me to think of things to write about lately. I can never decide what to write about or what I feel comfortable with sharing. Some things just shouldn't be posted for the entire world to see. I'm learning that. Damn online self-publishing platforms. Makin' me think I need to share my life's story to feel like I contributed something to this world. Here's the honest-to-goodness truth: Journals can be your best friend, but only when you stop writing for an "audience." Some things are best written for you, the paper, and your pen. And if you do decide to share some things, wait until enough time has passed that you feel a bit removed from the situation and can look at it with fresh eyes. Write it as it happens, then meditate and comment on it later. Words need time to ripen, like fruit...or..cheese. Or just fruit.

That is all.

(by the way, thanks guys for the encouraging comments!)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

4 Websites Every Spanish Student Should Bookmark

Hey guys,

First of all, sorry it's been so long since I last posted. I've been busy with the holidays, switching medicines (which is sending my mind and body on a wooden roller coaster) (hover here), and starting back at school (my classes seem pretty exciting this semester, actually).

In other news, in case you didn't know, I have an insatiable appetite for learning the Spanish language. It's incredibly frustrating and intimidating, however, to have to remember all of the grammar rules and the meanings of certain words (hover here).

Anyway, there are a couple of websites that I have made friends with this past year and consult them numerous times each week, if not each day. Here they are:
I was required by my Spanish instructors to purchase a hard copy of a Spanish-English dictionary, but SpanishDict has saved me a lot of flipping back and forth. When I'm practicing my Spanish, I use this site religiously. It's time-saving features include:

An awesome search feature that can often detect
if the word you entered is English or Spanish

Tool that allows you to roughly translate text (note: Do not rely on this tool for correct grammar! It is developed by Google Translate and will not always give you the correct verbs/nouns)

This site was developed by Rosetta Stone and is a wonderful tool for conversing with native Spanish-speakers (as well as speakers of many other languages, and you can help other people learn English if you feel so inclined). When you create a (free!) account, you indicate which language(s) you are fluent in and which you are learning. Once you join, you can talk to people via "Text Chat," "Voice Chat," or good 'ol e-mail messages (through a Shared Talk e-mail service).
I had searched all over the web for a credible way to instant message Spanish-speakers, but I constantly ran into stupid chat rooms where everyone either talked in English the whole time and didn't respond to a request for helping me practice, or they were full of spam and explicit content. Shared Talk reinstated faith in me that there are intelligent, patient, helpful people out there. I haven't even had to start conversations with people; I have received numerous enthusiastic messages from Spanish-speakers offering to help me learn Spanish (and some even asking if I will help them improve their English, which has been fun!)

One feature I wish was available on this site is the ability to save your conversations so that you can go back and study them later. I have an idea for a makeshift conversation-saving feature, though. If you maximize the conversation window (with the button on the top left), you could take a screen shot of the key parts of the conversation and save to your pictures. I haven't tried this yet, but I plan to.

Getting all of the different verb meanings and conjugations straight in my head (which is already jumbled) is a very daunting task. However, with the verb conjugation trainer on, I can study the verbs on my own, customize my verb drills, and keep track of my progress (since I signed up for a free account). You can customize the drills by type of verb (-AR, -ER, -IR, irregular verbs, semi-irregular, etc). Here are some screenshots of the drill:

Easy level

Hard level
 This site also has some other helpful games, drills, and basic lessons.

Colby Spanish Site
This website, provided by the Language Resource Center at Colby College, is a phenomenal tool for reviewing and practicing grammatical concepts in Spanish. You can choose from numerous interactive practice exercises and guided reading/listening.


I hope these sites/tools helped you if you haven't already discovered them. If you are learning Spanish, take some time to explore the uses of these sites, and if you aren't send this post to someone who is. Sharing is caring!

Know any other great sites for learning Spanish? Just want to give some general feedback comments? Share them with me, yes?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

First Post of the New Year

Happy 2011 :]

I don't do the whole "new years resolutions" thing, but there are some things I wanna explore in the coming months.
1. Lucid Dreaming: Inception captivated me, and I did a little research to see which parts of the movie are accurate. While it's not exactly possible to hack peoples dreams as they did in the movie, some people are more inclined than others to experience dreaming in which they are aware that they are dreaming and can therefore manipulate certain elements. Allegedly, you are supposed to be able to "train" your mind to be more capable of lucid dreaming and must practice techniques to improve. Sounds cool to me.

2. Rock climbing: I bought a "Living Social" voucher for a really awesome rock climbing studio visit. Fifteen bucks for a two people, all-day pass, shoe rental included. Yay for frugal Dani! If I like it enough, I'll go more often and maybe even join the studio on campus (and, even further, I think real rock climbing would be super fun if I trained for it).

3. Dance: I've also realized that I really love to dance. I mean, I've taken lessons when I was younger, and I wasn't that bad at it, but I haven't had time for it. Now, my schedule is freeing up, and I think I wanna check out some classes in town. Lyrical and jazz are my favorite styles, so I'll probably try those first. TJ said he'd learn to ballroom dance with me, but I dunno if he was serious about that :P

Speaking of dancing, my little sister got the Michael Jackson Experience game for the Wii this Christmas. IT FREAKIN' KICKS MY TAIL. But it's awesome. I didn't realize how easy it is to pick up on some of the dance moves. And it is an amazing work out. I couldn't move the next day, of course, but that's because my muscles are currently made of Play-Doh. I caught a video of my mom playing the game, too, but she would lacerate my face with a steak knife if she found out I posted it, so it shall stay hidden.

How was everyone's Christmas/New Years? Got any resolutions/plans?

Later, gators.